Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

This Nursing Fundamentals textbook is an open educational resource with CC-BY 4.0 licensing developed for entry-level nursing students. Content is based on the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) statewide nursing curriculum for the Nursing Fundamentals course (543-101), the 2021 NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN Test Plans,[1] and the Wisconsin Nurse Practice Act.[2]

This book introduces the entry-level nursing student to the scope of nursing practice, various communication techniques, and caring for diverse patients. The nursing process is used as a framework for providing patient care based on the following nursing concepts: safety, oxygenation, comfort, spiritual well-being, grief and loss, sleep and rest, mobility, nutrition, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and elimination. Care for patients with integumentary disorders and cognitive or sensory impairments is also discussed. Learning activities have been incorporated into each chapter to encourage students to use critical thinking while applying content to patient-care situations.

This book is available for free online and can also be downloaded in multiple formats for offline use. The online version is required for interaction with adaptive learning activities included in each chapter.

The following video provides a quick overview of how to navigate the online version.

The first edition of this book was developed by the Open RN project and supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Education to create five open source nursing textbooks. However, this content does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government. More information about the Open RN project can be found at The first textbook of the Open RN textbook series, Nursing Pharmacology, received an OE Award for Excellence from OE Global. For more information, visit the 2020 OE Awards for Excellence site.

The second edition of this textbook was developed using funding the Wisconsin College Technical System received from the state of Wisconsin to create, scale, and advocate for open educational resources. WisTech Open is a culmination of this funding to reduce student textbook costs to promote affordability, equity, and student success. Read more about the WisTech Open project at

  1. NCSBN. (n.d.) Test plans.
  2. Wisconsin State Legislature. (2024). Chapter 6: Standards of practice for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Board of Nursing.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Nursing Fundamentals Copyright © by Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book